What does one bring to the house of one's very best friends? Why, bacon and alcohol, of course! On a Monday night I found myself without family and thought that a quiet evening with friends would be just the thing. So I offered to cook dinner, a small gesture to off-set the hundreds of times I show up unannounced, drink their liquor, eat their food, sunbathe on their porch........ as a matter of fact, now that I think about it, why do they still answer the door when I come by? No Emily, don't pull that string too hard, just be glad they do.
So anyway, I decided to make a pretty simple somewhat healthy dinner. Chicken and salad. What's more healthy than that? Yup, you guessed it, I couldn't just make chicken and salad, I had to make salad with bacon and the chicken should have had a white wine sauce, but we drank all the wine before it was time to make the sauce. So I wrapped the chicken in bacon too. Actually I wrapped the chicken in prosciutto, which is much classier, but essentially still bacon. And of course I love cheese and no meal is complete without it, so I fried 2 different types of goat cheese to see which one fried better. Hmmmm...... Perhaps my definition of "healthy" and "simple" needs some work.
Well, the meal went perfectly with the wine that was supposed to go into the sauce, I was a huge hit with the 5-year-old because I left a couple pieces of bacon whole for him, and he actually liked the chicken. Of course my early, calm, not drinking night was all three things............sort of. Its what I love about my friends, while eating we talk about what we ate previously, the flavor, texture, combination, and nuances of what we are currently eating, and what we will eat next. Its my kind of crowd!
Prosciutto Wrapped Chicken
2 Large Chicken Breasts (sized DD if you can find them, in Europe they don't enhance them as much so we had a full C), alternatively you can use chicken tenders about 1lb of meat total
6 pieces Thin Sliced, High Quality Prosciutto (substitute thin sliced bacon, must be smoked)
2T Light Olive Oil or Sunflower Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
(sauce contains white wine, lemon juice, chicken stock, and heavy cream...... but I can't comment on proportions since I drank all the white wine and a white wine sauce without wine is a little like wearing running shoes with your business suit)
Pound chicken breasts to about 1/2-3/4 in thick. Cut into 2-3 pieces each. Salt and pepper the chicken on both sides. Wrap each piece of chicken in prosciutto, starting at one end and leaving both ends of the prosciutto tucked under the same side of the chicken. Let the chicken rest with the seam side down while you head the olive oil in the pan until hot but not smoking. Olive Oil has a low smoke point, sunflower oil is a little better so it doesn't make as big a mess and doesn't risk burning at as low a temperature. Place the chicken in the oil seam side down. Cook for 2-3 minutes until bottom is lightly browned. Carefully flip the chicken and brown on the other side for 2-3 minutes. Chicken may take an additional 2 minutes per side for the prosciutto to become golden brown and the chicken to cook through, depending on the thickness of the chicken.
Feld Salat with Shallot, Bacon, and White Balsamic dressing
1 Large Bunch of Feld Salad, substitute other tender leafy green if you are somewhere other than Germany
1 Package of Bacon (6-8 pieces, this is German sized package, not US)
2 Large or 3 Small Shallots minced
3T Olive Oil
2T White Balsamic Vinegar
1T Lemon Juice
1T Dijon Mustard
Salt and Pepper
Fry bacon until crispy. Remove bacon from pan but leave drippings. Add 1T of olive oil to the pan if there is not enough fat rendered from the bacon. Caramelize the shallots in the bacon grease until translucent and soft. Using a slotted spoon remove the shallots and put into a bowl. In another bowl, whisk 2T olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, and mustard. Add shallots. Salt and pepper to taste. To serve, toss the greens with the dressing and top with crumbled bacon.
Fried Goat Cheese
1 Log of Goat Cheese
10 Crackers (Ritz are good, I used parmesan crackers)
2T Olive Oil
Crush the crackers on a plate. Cut the goat cheese log into rounds about 1/2in thick. Roll the goat cheese in the cracker crumbs, pressing gently to adhere the crumbs to the cheese. Heat the olive oil in a pan, preferably the one from above with the shallot and bacon grease, everything tastes better fried in bacon grease. Heat until smoking....... the pan, not you...... Gently place the goat cheese rounds in the oil and fry for 2-3 min. Very gently, using a spatula, flip the goat cheese and fry on the other side. It will most likely ooze a little. Place directly on the plate with the salad and chicken.
Then open the 2nd bottle of wine and enjoy with friends.